Skoda Superb Elegance 118TSI Review

Overall Rating

  • Country of Origin
    CZECH REPUBLIC
  • Price
    $45,490 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    4 Cylinders
  • Output
    118 kW / 250 Nm
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic Dual Clutch
  • ANCAP Rating
    5
  • Airbags
  • L/100 km
    7.3
  • C02
    171 g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
    480 L
  • Towing (braked)
    1500 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    700 kg
Kez Casey | Jun 18, 2010 | 14 Comments

The 2010 Skoda Superb 118TSI Elegance is powered by a 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine.
The 2010 Skoda Superb 118TSI Elegance is powered by a 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine.
SKODA SUPERB ELEGANCE REVIEW

When you choose not to play by the rules, things can end one of two ways: spectacularly - with a show-stealing performance, or well… you can imagine the other outcome.

Which makes Skoda’s foray into the large car scene an interesting one. Fielding a 1.8 litre turbo-charged four-cylinder car in a market usually reserved for something with a big-six might be considered a brave move. Particularly when offered by a relative newcomer.

A little technical know-how goes a long way however, and the value and - yes - performance packaged into the Skoda Superb 118TSI demonstrates just how seriously the brand is tackling this market.

Model reviewed

2010 Skoda Superb Elegance 118TSI

What’s new?

Skoda intends to do things in the large car sector differently. While the range topping model features a conventional V6 and all-wheel-drive, the entry point kicks off with a 1.8 litre four-cylinder, front wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG gearbox.

A long cabin that liberates plenty of room, impressive luxury amenities and an innovative rear hatch make the Superb something of a unique proposition on the Australian market.

What’s the appeal?

2010 skoda superb 118tsi 030
In a nutshell: room to move.

Limousine levels of rear legroom give the passenger accommodation in the Superb a clear and distinct advantage over many in the sector.

Further back, an equally generous boot means nothing need be left behind.

What may surprise most though is the way the 1.8 litre with DSG goes about things, the serene premium feel to the cabin, and the equally serene ride comfort.

What features does it have?

The 2010 Skoda Superb
The 2010 Skoda Superb
The Superb’s real party trick is its TwinDoor tailgate system. This allows the rear opening to function as a regular bootlid, or for more cumbersome objects, as a hatchback (lifting the rear windscreen out of the way as well).

Beyond that, the Elegance model includes heated front and rear seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, six-disc MP3 compatible CD sound with a 30GB hard drive driven through 10 speakers, and electric front seats with memory for the driver's seat.

There’s also a multi-function trip computer, dual-zone climate control, automatic Xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, tyre pressure monitoring and auto-dimming mirrors.

All models in the Superb range also feature rear park-sensors, illuminated interior door handles, air-conditioned glovebox and an amazingly useful umbrella holder in the rear passenger's side door – a touch that more manufactures should give serious consideration to.

What’s under the bonnet?

Large cars with even the slightest hint of luxury need six cylinders as a bare minimum, right? Well, maybe not. Meet Skoda’s 1.8 litre contender in the large car class.

The Superb 118TSI
The Superb 118TSI
If you think that sounds like the smallest engine in its respective category, you’d be spot on. You’ll also note that the turbo-assisted 118kW power output isn’t exactly blistering either.

Regardless, a relatively low kerb weight of just 1611kg and a handy 250Nm of torque on tap from 1500 to 4500rpm, combined with a seven-speed DSG gearbox (providing a gear ratio for every occasion), means that the Skoda Superb does a commendable job on the road.

Despite the raw numbers looking a little shy, Skoda claims the sprint to 100km/h can be run in 8.5 seconds. For the feel underfoot, there’s little reason to doubt that claim.

Beyond that, the Superb features a relatively conventional front-wheel drive layout with MacPherson strut front suspension, with a four-link independent set-up at the rear.

How does it drive?

Skoda’s vehicle range all share a similar ‘lightness of feel’ on the road, and the big Superb is no exception. Common platform architecture beneath the Superb and the smaller Octavia helps to explain it.

2010 skoda superb 118tsi 006
More than that though, Skoda has worked hard on ride comfort for the Superb, whatever the road surface. And has succeeded. Noise isolation in particular is so thorough that even Australia’s notoriously troublesome coarse-chip bitumen fails to invade the interior.

On-road manners are difficult to fault, a situation assisted by an electronic stability system that, whilst subtle, is eager to step in at the first sign of trouble. As a relaxed cruiser, the Superb is pretty hard to toss.

In keeping with its limousine image, the ride is wonderfully balanced and compliant - absorbing road imperfections and hollows without wallowing or pogo-ing unnecessarily. The long wheelbase means that even larger imperfections in the road surface barely register inside.

Conversely however, the relatively narrow track of the Superb takes the edge off cornering balance. In combination with the 118TSI's modest power output, soft suspension and inherent body-roll, the Superb's cornering performance is well-beaten by our home-grown contenders from Ford, Holden and Toyota.

But around town, thanks to a tight turning circle, the Superb’s easy manoeuvrability around carparks and narrow laneways belies its 'large-car' dimensions.

The steering is quick and relatively direct, but, on the downside, feels a little isolated from the road surface below. Torque steer is barely evident, even in the wet.

The well-tuned DSG transmission transmits power effortlessly and seamlessly to the front wheels. With seven well-spaced gear ratios to pick from, the 118TSI engine can be kept singing at its best for most situations.

2010 skoda superb 118tsi 011
The biggest surprise with the 118TSI is what happens when the accelerator is given a decent prod. There’s a surprising amount of urge on tap, though the flat (but thankfully hushed) engine note is a bit uninspiring.

While there’s no chance of confusing the Superb with a performance sedan, the chunky torque band from the forced-induction 1.8 litres engine up front can really hustle the big Superb along.

In busy town traffic, and for overtaking, the 1.8 litre turbo four-cylinder engine proves equal to the task. While a full load can take the edge off acceleration and longer inclines can have things huffing a bit, few will fault the TSI on raw performance.

That it performs so well with just 1.8 litres doing the work is something of a revelation (and certainly has you examining conventional wisdoms about cubic inches.)

Lastly, from the wheel, the narrow A-pillars and large windows mean that visibility up front is excellent, however a small rear windscreen and broad C-pillars eat into over-shoulder visibility. The large side-mirrors help, but we'd prefer a little more rearward vision.

What did our passengers think?

2010 skoda superb 118tsi interior 008
Frankly, the support crew dragged along to journey in the Superb was sceptical about the unfamiliar sedan from the Czech Republic.

Once ensconced in the Superb’s roomy interior however, they quickly warmed to the logical layout, the premium trim and solid feel of the interior. Solid closing doors, really comfortable seats - heated front and rear - and generous rear-legroom quickly converted even the hardest of critics.

For interior stretching room, front to back, few cars come close to the Superb. For width however, for shoulder room, the Superb is a little tight.

Three adults abreast in the rear will not be happy with their lot for long. Ok for kids, but for adult passengers, better to treat the middle rear seat as emergency accommodation only.

Interior quality and feel?

2010 skoda superb 118tsi interior 004
As we have commented in earlier reviews, there is a distinct premium feel to the Superb's interior.

The dash, with a full-width edge curving up over the instrument binnacle, is particularly appealing in both style and for its tactile appeal.

Every contact point, every visible surface and every control is finely finished, with consistent weighting and smoothness to the operation of moving parts. Layout, and fit and finish, is impeccable with tight gaps, nicely matched surfaces and rattle-free assembly.

To use and to touch the Skoda’s interior is to appreciate the kind of quality that the Volkswagen Group has become synonymous with.

Luggage space

2010 skoda superb 118tsi interior 002
Skoda has obviously put a lot of effort into luggage carrying ability with the Superb, and the TwinDoor system proves the versatility of this big sedan.

Opening the bootlid reveals a conventional cargo bay, but by pressing two buttons on the underside of the boot garnish, the entire rear window and bootlid swing up, opening to an expansive hatchback ready to swallow all manner of awkwardly-sized items.

With the rear seats in place there is 565 litres of space, extending to 1670 litres with the seats folded. There are also tie-down eyelets and shopping bag hooks to keep things secure when on the move.

How safe is it?

EuroNCAP has awarded the Superb a 5-Star rating for crash protection. It carries an impressive list of safety equipment.

Nine airbags protect occupants with the usual dual front, front seat side and curtain airbags joined by rear seat side airbags and drivers knee airbag.

The Superb also features electronic stability control (ESP) with an Electronic Diff Lock (EDL) plus ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Hydraulic Brake Assistant (HBA).

Fuel Consumption and Green Rating

Official fuel consumption for the seven-speed DSG equipped 118TSI is 7.3l/100km. That’s the kind of figure to make large cars like Commodore and Falcon blush with shame.

On a test that put the Superb through equal parts punishing peak hour traffic and open country road work we matched that claim exactly. That happens rarely; most times we struggle to match manufacturer's claims in 'real-world' driving.

The Green Vehicle Guide gives the 118TSI Superb a four-star rating out of five. CO2 emissions are 171g/km.

How does it compare?

2010 holden commodore berline 30 sidi road test review economy run 10.jpg
Skoda has pitched the Superb into a notoriously difficult spot for newcomers in the Australian market. Raw figures put the Superb dangerously close to the dimensions of the perennial favorites Commodore and Falcon.

Realistically though the Aussie pair are marginally larger inside, although with less rear legroom than the Superb offers. They are also rear-wheel-drive (which comes with some advantages, particularly when towing) with larger, more powerful engines - but with bigger thirsts to match.

Euro challengers tend to come in smaller packages and include models as diverse as Volkswagen’s $6000 cheaper Passat with the same 118TSI engine, or Alfa Romeo’s $6000 pricier 159 2.2 JTS.

The Superb however comes more lavishly equipped than either of these two challengers, and while the Passat can hold its own, the 159 simply looks over-priced.

The Camry – credible competition in Grande specification – while closely matched in terms of performance and premium specification, can’t match the Superb’s fuel economy nor that intangible feeling of quality oat the wheel.

Warranty

All new Skoda cars are covered by a three year, unlimited kilometre warranty with 12 years of corrosion cover.

Colour combinations

Exterior colours include Candy White, Pacific Blue, Brilliant Silver metallic, Rosso Brunello (maroon) metallic, Cappuccino Beige metallic, Mocca Brown metallic, Storm Blue metallic, Amazonian Green metallic, Blue Aqua metallic, Platin Grey metallic, Amethyst Purple metallic and Black Magic pearl effect.

The interior is available with black leather trim or Ivory leather trim with either light or dark carpet.

How much?

The Superb 118TSI Elegance starts from $44,990 plus on road costs, with the metallic paint on our test car adding $500.

Our Verdict

We like Skoda's Superb. On price, quality, features and performance, it is very hard to fault.

That's why we annointed it as winner in the large car segment in The Motor Report's 2009 BEST DRIVE BEST VALUE Awards.

2010 skoda superb 118tsi 028
As we said then of the 2.0 TDI Superb, "It is large, well kitted, impeccably finished, and offers sumptuous luxury appointments. It is also sharply priced and with enough clever ideas to set it apart in the larger passenger car segment."

That assessment also stands for the 118TSI. It slays its Euro competitors on price and takes the fight to local large offerings with an unmatched equipment list.

Dynamically, in straight line performance with a load up, a conventional 'six' has the edge on the 118TSI Superb, but only marginally.

Should your priorities rest more on passenger comfort, driving ease and frugal fuel consumption, then the sublime comfort and quiet economical running of the 118TSI make it hard to beat.

So, if you're not afraid to break with convention, Skoda's elegant and capable 118TSI Superb is very good buying.

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Filed under: Featured, review, Skoda, petrol, Superb, Skoda Superb, skoda superb elegance, hatch, fwd, Superb 118TSI, Skoda Superb 118TSI, 2010 Skoda Superb 118TSI, 2010 skoda superb 118tsi elegance, 2010 skoda superb elegance, skoda superb 118TSI elegance, superb 118TSI elegance, family, large, 4cyl

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  • Tomas79 says,
    4 years ago
    Good Review!! Good Car!!
    No Wonder BBC Top Gear Awarded the Skoda Superb best Luxury Car of the year 2009!!!
  • Tom says,
    4 years ago
    4 likes
    The only criticism I will say of this car, is that the Wagon version looks so much better, and is more practical. As a sedan, the last 1/4 looks a little awkward. But great review, if only their dealership network was larger.
  • 668475019
    Jake02 says,
    4 years ago
    Great car let down by the rear end. It's just too awkward...That's why the Superb Combi is a much better car smile. Give me a black V6 4x4 Combi please.


    TMR where's the updated specs? Like leather and sat-nav being standard on Elegance models.
  • Wheelnut
    Wheelnut says,
    4 years ago
    1 like
    I agree; its the styling which lets the Skoda down..the car looks awkward; out-dated; and the double action boot is nothing more than a sales gim*** Then there's the interior which doesn't look all that inviting or ergonomic either.

    If/when Skoda eventually drags the design of their cars in to the 90s then they could sell more than 100-150 a month like they have in recent months.
  • jon says,
    4 years ago
    I`m not sure anyone who thinks Australian cars are stylish and well built should be commenting on a Skoda.
  • Wheelnut
    Wheelnut says,
    4 years ago
    2 likes
    It's not just me - there's obviously 1000s of others who think Skodas styling is awkward. Last time I checked both the Commodore and the Falcon were in the top 5 best selling cars in Oz. Whereas Skoda was what - 20th?

    As I have said before is Skodas are as Superb as you would like us to believe then why aren't they sold in the most competitive market in the world ?
    Not only that but why aren't there car enthusiasts in America on auto-blog sites pleading with VW to import Skodas into the USA like they are with the Commodore and Falcon?
    • 668475019
      Jake02 says,
      4 years ago
      1 like
      Who the hell cares about the US!? We don't live there dingus! That's just ridiculous in saying that for a car to be superb it must be sold in the US. The US has one of the dumbest car markets in the world - everything runs on 87-RON petrol and diesels have to be cleaned with sheep wee! Orange-coloured rear indicators aren't even mandated and neither are manually-folding mirrors. Dumb, dumb, dumb! I also fail to see how it's Skoda's fault, rather it's VW's fault. Which the launch of the awful new Jetta I'd say anything is needed for VW US. The new Passat over there should be a Superb because it has the attributes that the average fat-*** enjoy - lots of leg room!

      On the styling debate, I don't see it as a debate because it's just opinion and not fact. But if we must go there I dislike only the Superb saloon and the non-RS Fabia range in design. The tailamps make you think that it's scared in their shape. The line from the top of the bootlid tailamp section should continue it's angle into the non-bootlid part of the tailamp. It'd look better because it's abit angrier in shape. They could also change the rear bumper shape and the front should be abit more aggressive but that's it. The interior is freaking wonderful in terms of design, practicality and quality. It's a big step for the interior from my '08 Octavia RS. I love the Roomster, Octavia (if they came with the 17-inch wheels as standard here they'd be great) and RS, and especially the Superb Combi in design - they're all a little quirky but don't become outcasts.

      It's interesting to hear people's opinions on styling. Alot of people on these Australian car websites consider cars to
      be ugly if they're not aggrassive in their stance (with some aggressive being ugly - Subaru Liberty). Camrys, Commodores etc are very middley in their styling, that is not aggressive but not woosy). There are also alot of douchebags on Aus websites! Wheelnut, you know perfectly why the Superb isn't in the top-ten selling cars and it's not because you think they're ugly (because Subarus sell quite well and we all know how awful their looks have gotten!), it's because they don't advertise enough, they're a so-called new brand, not enough dealers are out there yet and some of their cars aren't well-equipped enough (but the MY11 models change that). As a Skoda-owner, ill be the first to tell you that. I'll also be the first to say that I'm defending the cars themselves and not the idiots who run Skoda Audtralia. The cars are too good to not let the people who bring them in ruin them by not selling them, and all the other online trolls put poo on them either.
    • NotaDumbSkippy says,
      5 months ago
      Holdens (like all GM / Daewoo products) are the biggest pieces of crap imaginable! For you to even be commenting here is utterly embarrassing - for you! laugh
  • jon says,
    4 years ago
    Because American`s suffer from the same problem as we have in this country, blind patriotism. Actually they invented the sickness. The whole Ford v`s Holden rivalry in this country is such a Bogan mindset, American`s suffer from the same syndrome except they just have more hick brands to choose from. I mean why else would people watch V8 Supercars in this country or Nascar in the States. The cars aren`t anything like the cars they represent but idiots drive them out of the showrooms believing they are. Don`t get me wrong the Falcon and Commodore serve a few purposes, mainly to point out to the rest of us who the Bogan`s are. The others are to Taxi people around, tow caravans and gee I really can`t think of any reason why else you would have one. I guess it shows by the sales that Bogan pride is well and truly alive. I mean seriously why else would you own one, they aren`t well made, they aren`t good to look at, they have poor servicing, [mainly because the mechanics who service them wouldn`t be capable of working on anything else] and they have crap interiors. Considering that`s where you are when your driving,you`d think they would put some sort of effort in. Nope, cheap is the name of the game and they can`t even get that right. Hyundai manage to do it and they don`t over charge for like Holden and Ford and they back it up with good warranty. Try and get anything fixed under warranty by Ford or Holden its like having teeth pulled, by an ant.
  • Enthuser says,
    4 years ago
    118tsi engine is brilliant. I have an Octavia - it is faultless.
    A friend has bought the a Superb v6 x4 to replace an Outback - says Superb is in a different leaugue
    • NotaDumbSkippy says,
      5 months ago
      I own a 2013 Skoda Octavia 90TSI DSG SE Wagon - it was a run-out special - i.e. a 90TSI with all of the 118TSI's luxury kit etc - got it for under $24,000 - what a bargain! And what a classy, understated, faultless, and incredible practical car! Lovers of Asian cars can keep their tin and plastic jelly mold "appliances on wheels"!
  • Will says,
    4 years ago
    Enthuser, you have purchased well. I too have an Octavia that is approximately two years old and is faultless. I too made a progression from Subaru.

    I see old Wheelnut is still trolling. He is the purveyor of cheap Korean imports under a Holden badge. The only local manifestation of Holden seems to have borrowed design cues from Ssangyong. LOL!!!!

    • G man says,
      2 years ago
      Jake 02 has made a good point about not enough marketing done in this country. I have just purchased an superb elegance and have Been looking at various makes and models for months. As far as I am concerned, you cannot compare holdens and fords, mazdas or nissans. The czechs quality and finish is impeccable. I have test driven so many cars and the skoda is value for money. They have now opened skoda dealerships in a number of Sydney metropolitan areas and they are selling more and more and will only get more popular as time goes by. Best luxury car under $60k in 2010. Skoda stadium in the AFL as well. Holden and ford are very cheap looking.... No class in their design unless you spend $80k on clubs port
    • NotaDumbSkippy says,
      5 months ago
      I own a 2013 Skoda Octavia 90TSI DSG SE Wagon - it was a run-out special - i.e. a 90TSI with all of the 118TSI's luxury kit etc - got it for under $24,000 - what a bargain! And what a classy, understated, faultless, and incredible practical car! Lovers of Asian cars can keep their tin and plastic jelly mold "appliances on wheels"!

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